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concrete slab Options
bushwack
#1 Posted : Saturday, September 06, 2003 5:03:48 AM
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I know nothing about Crete... other than there are more factors than lay on the surface. Pun intended.

Knowledge of HER initial plans for usage but Mostly her [[ dreamy down the road plans ]] The real reason she wants it!!!!

Your location ie: frost. And I think soil type and tree rootage. But I’m sure after you give a little more info you’ll be smacked with responses!
jdcox
#2 Posted : Sunday, September 07, 2003 5:49:31 AM
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Posts: 134,494
I''ve poured a lot of concrete......none of it properly. But here are the basics...it needs to be at least 3" thick (as a deck or sidewalk) and 4 or more if there is going to be any loadbearing. You need welded mesh all over the 12 x 12 to strengthen it and the mesh should be held off the base (gravel and sand) of the concrete with little wooden legs to about an inch. This is to ensure the ''mud'' surrounds it and it doesn''t lay on the bottom. You''ll need some drainage for 144 sft.....a place for the water to go and, in some cases (I don''t know which) you may need an ''expansion'' joint so that the heat/cold cycle cracks along a predetermined line. I strongly advise pouring when it is cool-ish. Hot weather will make it ''kick off'' unpredictably (at least I have never figured it right when I did it). Keep it wet and/or damp for four days or so after pouring - remember: ''hardening'' is a chemical process and keeping it damp and ''cool'' as long as possible (and reasonable) allows the pad to cure properly. If you have the service, use a concrete delivery truck. It''s worth it to have it pumped to the pad if you can do it. Most concrete mixing trucks won''t deliver a ''partial load'' so you may have to wait for one..."I don''t care when you deliver it, just give me a half days notice so that I can be there." That means they can drop off a portion of an unused load cheaper. Still, if it were me, I''d pay the ''load price'' and have it delivered at my convenience. Work fast. When it ''kicks'' off, it gets very hard to work. I would also pay for a ''finisher''. Get some guy who comes at the end of the delivery and knows how to smoothe and border properly. Some of these guys are artists and well worth their hourly rate. As it is pouring in place, you have to vibrate (or at least jiggle like mad with a stick) the ''mud'' so as to avoid ''voids'' and get it to settle right. Plus you need to do this on a good, tamped down ''bed'' of sand and gravel (especially if there is going to be any kind of load. ''Would I do it with Reddi-mix bags?'' Nope. The stuff is heavy and will set up irregularly. You''ll screw up. ''Would I do it with a cement mixer and the raw materials?'' Nope. Delivered mix is by far better.
''Have I done this before?'' Yes. But never properly. I did it too slowly the first time and was hammering it down over the last few feet. I didn''t do a good base once and it cracked. I spilled a wheel barrow full another time and had a huge ''lump'' to remove and I didn''t use enough water on another ''hot day'' and couldn''t get a smooth surface. If you have ever wondered about inanimate objects having a spirit, work with concrete. It not only has an obnoxious spirit but a bl--dy-mindedness that makes wives and donkeys seem easy going.
StreetLegal
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 09, 2003 7:45:25 AM
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c''mon jd...don''t sugar-coat it...tell him how you really feel! [;)]
StreetLegal
#4 Posted : Tuesday, September 09, 2003 7:59:40 AM
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Actually, I was hoping there was such a website.

Concrete is fascinating stuff. There are many different mixes, with accelerators, retarders, colors, adhesives, aggregates, etc.

It is fairly specific in design, based on the application. I almost hate to send you there, but Home "Do it yourself and save" Depot probably has a book which would get you through a simple pour.

Concrete is like any other trade...it takes "caring hands" and experience to get it right. Good luck!
JFS
#5 Posted : Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:38:19 AM
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Thank you for all the advice.
skruzich
#6 Posted : Wednesday, September 10, 2003 12:54:05 PM
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Hi,
I have actually poured a slab that big before with help from one other person.
What i did was to take and use my tiller to till up the ground area, take a flat edge shovel and wheel barrow and moved the dirt out, took my level and a 12'' 2x4 and layed it on the ground to check how level i had it. Then i scooped it out til it was level. Then i took the tiller and ran along the edge digging down 4 more inches, then scooped out the dirt and leveled the footers.
Take 8 stakes, nail them 1 foot from each end of the 2x8''s then drive them down into the footer area, against the outside dirt wall. take 2x4x12 with level and level the 2x8''s nail the ends together with one or two nails leaving the nail out a bit so you can pull them easily.
take some used motor oil, (because you can get it free) and pour onto each of the 2x8''s on the inside. If your soil is heavy clay, get some sand and put about 1" into the bottom and pack down.
Get enough welded wire to place into the 12 x 12 area. Use some small stones to hold the wire up off the ground, I usually place one every 2 feet.
Once you have all this prepped, push some of the dirt you dug out against the outside of the 2x8''s to brace them so that they don''t bow out from the weight of the concrete when it is poured.
Call the local redimix company to come out, and you will need approximately 2 1/2 - 3 yards of concrete to make the pour. Always order a bit more than you think you need as it might take it. Pour the concrete, and be ready with some tamping poles to fill pockets and make sure the concrete goes into small areas, along with taking shovel full mucking it to areas that need a bit more.
Fill your form up about 2" above the top of the form, then take a 14'' 2x4 and you and someone else needs to scree it off by starting at one end, and pull toward you then the other person pulls toward them motion and work your way down the form. You will end up with some pockets happening, and need to take some of the excess concrete your screeing off, and put it back into the pockets and redo the scree over them.
Once you scree off the excess (this process will also pack it down a bit) then you can wait a while and then start working the top. What will happen is as you use your trowl, it will "Milk" the mud up and create a creamy texture and this is how you get the smooth top. If you don''t care about that, just leave it as is, and when it is getting solid, take a stiff broom, and brush the top to get a rough texture.

Now if your going to be putting a structure on it, I would sink some threaded rods every 3 feet along the pad edge, about 2" in from the edge of the concrete. Leave approximately 2" of thread exposed from the concrete. Do this when the mud is somewhat soft so that you can get it positioned, but not too soft as to where the bolts will fall over.
You can use these to secure your frame when you frame it up. Just drill holes for the bottom 2x4 to slide over the bolts.
If your going to add electric to the shed, consider underground cable and where you plan on putting a sub panel, lay a piece of electrical pvc before pouring, making sure it goes under the form you just set.

Hope this will help a bit.
Steve
jdcox
#7 Posted : Wednesday, September 10, 2003 7:15:46 PM
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Yeah........what he said.........
By the way, Skuz, I may be doing some more concrete work next Spring should you happen to be in or around these parts.
skruzich
#8 Posted : Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:22:30 PM
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ROTFLMAO, i don''t suppose it will be on that rock wall you want to build stairs up huh ;)
steve
andydufresne
#9 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 12:44:34 AM
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Steve did you say you fill it up 2# OVER the form? Is redi-mix that stiff that it will go 2" higher than the form or did I miss something?

TIA
jdcox
#10 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 1:22:07 AM
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Yes. Up hill, steep angle, poor footing, hand mixed, heavy wheel barrows full, moss underfoot and I have to carry the water in from the creek a mile away. But, don''t get fooled by the flowery description, it isn''t always that much fun. Throw in the hot sun, mosquitos and the batch setting up too quick and sometimes it can be a bit challenging.
Still, there is always a good sandwich, a cold beer and a very appreciative wife to make it all worthwhile. Plus the forum, of course, to share it with. Does it get any more fun than that?
skruzich
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 1:46:56 AM
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Heh, I might just make that trip up there hehe. Sounds like it could be interesting.
i suggest though putting the water in a tank with a dc pump pump it up the hill to the top, take a winch, no not a serving wench but a winch that will pull the materials up to the top of the hill. come to think of it if we get a few serving wenches we could let them do all the heavy work and sit back and drink beer ;)
steve
hunter63
#12 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 3:09:28 AM
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I was looking to pour a small slab in the yard, when "lo and behold" the sunday paper ad from Home Depot was pushing bying the bags of ready-mix and do your own?? I added up the price of the bags for the area i was going to do, then called the concrete store (delivery) the woman asked me if i saw the ad on sunday. I said yes and she laughed again, gave me a lower price (delivered). She told me that that ad sold more small batches of ''crete'' then all the ad they put in papers, phone books etc.
Guess what i did. Getting old i guess.
skruzich
#13 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 3:15:07 AM
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LOL thats the way it usually goes. Plus you saved yourself alot of pain from mixing up all that concrete.
hunter63
#14 Posted : Thursday, September 11, 2003 3:27:44 AM
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Yeah, and loading it in the truck, then unloading it, picking up the mixer from the rent place, cleaning up the mess, throw my boots away,(from stepping in it), taking the mixer back etc. etc. etc.
My experince in building, wood stuff can be torn down, concrete stuff needs to torn UP!
StreetLegal
#15 Posted : Friday, September 12, 2003 5:06:38 PM
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did someone say "cold beer"??

---

While on the subject of building, allow me to recite one of my favorite quotes: "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one".
jdcox
#16 Posted : Friday, September 12, 2003 5:17:24 PM
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Yeah, SL. I can afford to provide cold Canadian beer and sandwiches (and bandages) but that''s about it. Plus there is an old cabin in the woods that makes Dan''l Boone''s cabin look like the Hilton. That''s why we are doing it all ourselves (Sal out works me).
I''d love to post some pictures for you guys........I''ll try to figure that out.
skruzich
#17 Posted : Saturday, September 13, 2003 12:15:42 AM
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Hey andy, sorry i missed your post, yeah 2 inches above the form, it should be that stiff, You probably won''t have that much at the edge of the form, but towards the center it will be that high as it will mound up. The idea is to get enough where you can skree it down without having to muck cement back over where you just skree''d to fill patches and holes.One other thing i forgot was to make sure you use something to tamp the concrete down by the forms. That will make the gravel settle better.

steve

StreetLegal
#18 Posted : Saturday, September 13, 2003 2:33:27 AM
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"Slump"...it''s called slump.

It''s a test of the "viscousity" (if that''s the right word) of concrete. Fresh concrete is poured into a cone-shaped form, then inverted and the form pulled off. This process is called a "slump test".

The "slump" is the amount that the concrete cone "slumps" over a given period of time. The amount of slump can be controlled by the mix of the concrete.

And what I know about concrete and fifty cents will buy you a cup of coffee.

I guess I''d better learn something about it, I just today bid a job where I''ll have to pour and finish 35 yards of it...that''ll be a good one to "cut my teeth on", won''t it?
skruzich
#19 Posted : Saturday, September 13, 2003 4:30:53 AM
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Holy cow, street, thats alot of concrete to do.
Sounds like its going to be a 100 x 100 pad to finish
StreetLegal
#20 Posted : Saturday, September 13, 2003 5:24:29 AM
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There will be 1775 square feet to finish. It will be done in 3 separate pours, so it shouldn''t be too bad. We are going heavy on the foundation, due to building up the pad-site about a foot with fill.

The owner doesn''t want to pay for an "engineered" pad, so we''re going to tamp the heck out of it, "overdo" the foundation, and hope for the best.
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